feast toronto

Prepared meals in vending machines coming to Toronto

Fresh food company Feast suddenly shut down its delivery service in October. At that time, it said it was going to focus on its wholesale business; it currently sells its meals at four Balzacs locations in Toronto. However, the company's about to pivot in a new direction.

CEO Steven Harmer tells me Feast is working on a micro-retail concept. He plans to use high-tech vending machines, like the ones popular in some parts of Asia and Europe, to get fresh food to Torontonians at all times of day or night.

We're creating a model whereby we have 24/7 automated vending and then for peak periods we're staffed with traditional point of sale," says Harmer.

He and his company are currently in talks with corporate real estate companies to get Feast into the PATH as well as possibly into secondary markets, such as hospitals. Harmer notes that many PATH food courts shut down early, usually before dinner. Feast would give those burning the midnight oil better access to fresh food.

Feast would deliver meals daily and use its proprietary technology to let users order from their desk via a mobile app.

Harmer thinks this new model will be more cost-efficient. With its previous free delivery system, Feast was spending $6 on delivery for order - orders averaged around $13 or $14. And one major hurdle to getting repeat customers was price.

"What it told me wasn't that people don't like food delivery, because they do," says Harmer "It's just that, is the pain substantial enough that they're willing to pay?"


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